Saturday, November 17, 2007

Season Summaries--12. Reading

12. Reading (My preseason prediction: 11th)

It looks like the reputed "Second Season Syndrome" is coming true again, though definitely not to as large of a degree as we saw with Wigan last year. Let's face it, Reading overachieved with the squad they had last season and as I mentioned in my preseason prediction for the Royals, it's simply a case of them really not adding/improving to their squad compared to teams like Everton, Portsmouth, Blackburn, and Aston Villa (the teams Reading finished roughly in the middle of in 2006-2007).

This year, too, they're not getting the same production they got from some players last season: Leroy Lita hasn't scored in the 6 league games he's played in due to injury, Kevin Doyle is scoring roughly once every 3 games as opposed to once every two last year, and Marcus Hahnemann has been awful at times. Steve Sidwell played an integral part of the Royals' squad a year ago; this year he's rotting on the bench at Chelsea.

Reading also have yet to win on the road in this campaign (1 draw, 5 losses), and they've already lost 3 times at home after losing just 6 home games all of last season. The loss to Liverpool in the Carling Cup is acceptable; losing to Bolton, West Ham, and Fulham in the league is not. In short, it is truly a tale of two seasons for Reading. I'm not sure how their remaining 25 games will play out, but I don't think Steve Coppell's team will repeat last season's 8th-place finish.

No comments: